Our Convention is over once more, but it has been the best yet, in attendance, for food provided and for joy generally. Of course, it is only a very small matter compared to your large Conventions. We had sessions every day from Sunday to Sunday, and attendance ranged from just a little over a hundred, to 230. The Testimony Meetings, although they were liberally arranged for—as you will see from the enclosed program—still seemed too short to let every one who desired have an opportunity to speak. On the New Year's morning we had a Baptism service, when fourteen symbolized their consecration. It is beautiful to see many old and young yet coming to rejoice to lay their all on the altar of sacrifice and seek to follow the Lamb.
We unanimously resolved that the time was very opportune for you to pay us a visit, and it was proposed by Brother Gates, of Sydney, and seconded by Brother Allison, of Adelaide, that the following letter be sent to you: "Dear Brother Russell:—
In bringing to a close this Convention which has been a great source of blessing and refreshment to all the dear friends attending from other States as well as to the local Ecclesia, we desire to send a message expressing our love to you and all the dear co-laborers in America. It is also suggested that we send you a hearty invitation to pay us a visit. Our thought is that, owing to the war, it may be that your privileges of service in Europe may be curtailed, and also your visits to England, and that thus in the Lord's good providence your steps may be guided in this direction. We assure you that our hearts' affections go out to you; and to see and speak with you, would be joy second only to that which we hope so soon to have beyond the veil. Earnest prayers for your highest welfare."
I rejoice in the Lord that you have had such a sweet and blessed Convention and that, although the numbers were not large, the interest and spirit were what we would expect and that great good has been accomplished.
I cannot promise anything definite in respect to a visit to Australasia, much as I should desire to greet you all in the flesh, to say some words of comfort and encouragement and to personally receive assurances of your continued Christian love. However, we know not what the Lord's providence may indicate, but assure you that we will seek to follow His leading in this and in every matter. With much Christian love,
I was pleased to receive your loving letter and gift, which were much appreciated, the latter of which I intend exchanging for renewal of THE WATCH TOWER for another year. Like thousands of others of like precious faith, we are indeed thankful to our loving Heavenly Father and to you, His servant, for its cheering, helpful and inspiring messages of exhortation and hope for those seeking to know and do the will of God. Its bi-monthly visits are eagerly looked for and its spiritual food is soul-satisfying.
The article in September 1 issue on "Christian Duty and the War" was good and to the point; we trust by God's grace we shall maintain that attitude, looking to Jesus our Captain, who said His Kingdom is not of this world, else would His servants fight; and to St. Paul, His mouthpiece, who shows that our weapons are not carnal, though mighty to the pulling down of strongholds of error.
I rejoice, by the Lord's favor, at the prospect of further opportunities in the Colporteur work this new year. The previous eight in this blessed work have been the happiest in my life. I am now wondering if our work may not soon be cut short since compulsory military service for single men is suggested, with the possibility of severe penalties to those who refuse. However,
The Class here have unanimously reelected you as our Pastor. I assure you we can never repay the help you are to us through the SCRIPTURE STUDIES, THE WATCH TOWER, TABERNACLE SHADOWS, etc. We are grateful to our Heavenly Father and our Present Lord who have used and are still using you to bring forth "Meat in due season for the Household of Faith."
REPLY TO QUERIES: The Lord's people are to govern their conduct by the laws of the land in which they reside—except such laws as would conflict with God's Word. But we should not take anybody's "say-so" re such laws, but should make sure that such laws really prevent.—EDITOR.
In view of the fact that it is so surprisingly easy to sell the PHOTO-DRAMA SCENARIOS at 68c and 88c, we would like to suggest that you allow the MANNA to be Colporteured at 68c. We are convinced, after our experience with the SCENARIO, that at 68c the MANNA sales would be very materially increased. This would be an encouragement, and assist in making expenses.
We find that many of the friends have not yet introduced the STUDIES, MANNA, SCENARIO, TOWER, etc., to their tradespeople—grocers, butchers, bakers, shoemakers, milkmen, etc. We have suggested to many that these people are most anxious to retain their trade, giving them profit-sharing coupons, trading stamps, premiums, etc., and that they would be only too pleased if they had an opportunity to reciprocate in return for their custom during the many months or years they have dealt with them. What an opening the friends have in this way! One Sister here went out the other day amongst the people on her street, and took orders for nineteen SCENARIOS in about five hours. There is hardly a person in the Truth but could do likewise—and their tradespeople and neighbors would appreciate the privilege of buying from them. With much love, we are